NHHC Underwater Archaeology Branch

NHHC Underwater Archaeology Branch UAB advises the Navy on all matters concerning underwater archaeology, preservation and management of United States Navy sunken military craft.
(7)

The Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) of the Naval History & Heritage Command assists the Director of Naval History and the Department of the Navy in all matters related to the science of underwater archaeology and the identification, research, interpretation, preservation, conservation, inventory, and management of U.S. Navy's historic sunken military craft. UAB serves four main inter-related functions – Historic Preservation, Archaeological Research, Conservation and Curation, and Public Outreach. Historic Preservation:
The UAB maintains a record of over 3,000 historic shipwrecks and 14,000 historic aircraft wrecks which often reflect key points in the nation’s history. Additionally, sunken military craft are often considered war graves, may contain unexploded ordnance, other sensitive weapons systems, or environmental contaminants. These sites therefore necessitate respect and should not be disturbed without authorization. The Navy's policy towards sunken military craft is to preserve them in situ. Sites that have reached chemical and physical equilibrium with their immediate underwater environment are subject to a substantially reduced deterioration rate. If disturbed, this deterioration rate accelerates and any recovered artifacts must undergo immediate conservation and long-term monitoring. While the Command prefers non-intrusive, in situ research on sunken military craft, it recognizes that disturbance and/or artifact recovery may become necessary and has therefore instituted an applicable permitting program. Site disturbance or artifact removal may be justified and necessary to protect the sunken military craft, to conduct research, or provide public education and information that is otherwise inaccessible. Archaeological Research:
The overall research objective of the Branch is to interpret the Navy's experience by applying the science of archaeology on the Navy's sunken ship and aircraft wrecks. Through undertaking archaeological research, as well as encouraging external collaborations, the Branch has significantly contributed to the understanding of the Navy's and the nation's underwater cultural heritage. Non-intrusive surveys and wreck site documentation projects that have been performed by UAB include the 2002 survey for WWII wrecks off the coast of Normandy, the continuing search for Bonhomme Richard, flagship of John Paul Jones, in the North Sea, and the documentation and limited recovery of artifacts from shipwrecks of the Penobscot Expedition. UAB has also led in more extensive archaeological projects such as the recovery and study of the Civil War submarine H.L. Hunley. Conservation & Curation:
The UAB maintains a well-equipped Archaeology & Conservation Laboratory at the Washington Navy Yard which applies conservation treatments and is the curation facility that maintains the US Navy's underwater archaeological artifact inventory. The Laboratory allows for the archaeological process to be brought to fruition and for the proper documentation, preservation, and study of submerged cultural resources. In order to broadly share the Navy’s maritime cultural heritage with the public and researchers, the Laboratory supervises an artifact loan program which allows for Navy-owned artifacts from submerged sites to be curated and displayed under the auspices of UAB at approved facilities nationally and internationally. Public Education:
An important objective shared by the NHHC and the UAB is public outreach and education. To this effect, the Branch disseminates information, issues publications, and gives lectures to the Navy and the general public on underwater archaeology, conservation, history, and cultural resources management policy. Staff archaeologists also appear in a number of documentaries and other public media outlets. In addition, UAB offers regulated public access to the UAB Archaeology & Conservation Laboratory, and supports an extensive academic internship program aimed at upper-level undergraduate and graduate students.

Operating as usual

Time to check in on our field team in RI. This second week the team was able to proceed with dive operations to continue...
05/27/2021

Time to check in on our field team in RI. This second week the team was able to proceed with dive operations to continue documenting the site and finding its extent. A hand-held metal detector was used to locate and inspect magnetic signatures that were picked up last week during the remote sensing portion.

Blog will be coming soon, so keep a look out!

For students interested in archaeological conservation of artifacts from underwater: The Emerging Conservation Professio...
05/24/2021
ECPN Interview: Pre-Program Internships in Archaeological Conservation

For students interested in archaeological conservation of artifacts from underwater: The Emerging Conservation Professionals Network (ECPN) recently interviewed our Lab to discuss our internship program, how it works, and highlight past intern projects. If you know of any students that would find this interesting please feel free to share this post with them.
https://community.culturalheritage.org/blogs/keara-teeter/2021/05/15/ecpn-interview-in-archaeological-conservation

The Emerging Conservation Professionals Network (ECPN) works to serve ECPs at all levels, from pre-program to early career. This blog series aims to highlight pre-program experiences and opportunities through interviews with internship supervisors from a wide range of specialties. These individuals....

UA is currently out in the field off Rhode Island to investigate more of the suspected Oliver Hazard Perry’s Revenge wre...
05/20/2021

UA is currently out in the field off Rhode Island to investigate more of the suspected Oliver Hazard Perry’s Revenge wreck site. This week we are conducting remote sensing and will follow up with divers to groundtruth potential targets. Keep on the lookout for an upcoming blog on the preliminary results of the current documentation efforts.

How is the use of an aerial drone and a magnetometer helping to find archaeological sites and specifically naval shipwre...
04/29/2021

How is the use of an aerial drone and a magnetometer helping to find archaeological sites and specifically naval shipwrecks? Check out the latest blog from UA which describes the process and what it hopes to accomplish!
https://usnhistory.navylive.dodlive.mil/2021/04/26/nhhc-archaeology-by-land-and-by-sea-and-now-by-air/

How is the use of an aerial drone and a magnetometer helping to find archaeological sites and specifically naval shipwrecks? Check out the latest blog from UA which describes the process and what it hopes to accomplish!
https://usnhistory.navylive.dodlive.mil/2021/04/26/nhhc-archaeology-by-land-and-by-sea-and-now-by-air/

To help commemorate the 100th anniversary of Conestoga's sinking NOAA will be joined by NHHC Underwater Archaeologist Dr...
03/25/2021
For Teachers - Webinar Series | Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

To help commemorate the 100th anniversary of Conestoga's sinking NOAA will be joined by NHHC Underwater Archaeologist Dr. Alexis Catsambis during an online webinar tonight at 7pm Eastern time. This webinar is presented by NOAA's Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command. Register for the event in the following link:
https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/education/teachers/webinar-series.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=GovDelivery

There is also a lot of great content on the NHHC page with Conestoga facts and history post so check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/USNHistory

The National Marine Sanctuary Webinar Series provides educators with educational and scientific expertise, resources and training to support ocean and climate literacy in the classroom. This series targets formal and informal educators that are engaging students (elementary through college) in forma...

Ever thought how your skills in a different field can be applied in another? Here is an article of a collaboration betwe...
02/10/2021
Carderock’s Unique Capabilities Help Assess Damage to Sunken Lexington

Ever thought how your skills in a different field can be applied in another? Here is an article of a collaboration between NHHC Underwater Archaeology Branch and Engineers from the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock to examine data from wrecks such as aircraft carrier Lexington lost during the Battle of Coral Sea in order to asses damage seen on site.
https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Media/News/SavedNewsModule/Article/2490603/carderocks-unique-capabilities-help-assess-damage-to-sunken-lexington/

USS Lexington (CV-2), often called “Lady Lex,” was commissioned at Quincy, Massachusetts, in December 1927, and was the second aircraft carrier to be commissioned by the United States Navy. Primarily

Last week UA was in the Potomac River assisting the City of Alexandria and Alexandria Archaeology Museum with a survey. ...
11/23/2020

Last week UA was in the Potomac River assisting the City of Alexandria and Alexandria Archaeology Museum with a survey. This local opportunity provides UA a chance to test equipment and sea trials in preparation for the NAS Patuxent River historic aircraft survey. Stay tuned for more on that survey.

The Nautical Archaeology Society will be hosting lectures on maritime archaeology for those interested in learning about...
03/25/2020

The Nautical Archaeology Society will be hosting lectures on maritime archaeology for those interested in learning about archaeological projects from around the globe. This Monday's lecture is on the London wreck! See below for details.

We're excited to announce the very first #CovEDTalks presenter - our very own CEO Mark Beattie-Edwards ⭐️

For those of you who missed the Discover the London - Southend's Time Capsule event in Southend, this is your chance to get up to speed with the fascinating story of the London so far, and what its prospects are for the future.

In his talk, Mark will discuss the amazing wreck of the London, which blew up in the Thames Estuary in 1665. Protected in 2010 by Historic England the site is on the Heritage At Risk Register, due to the constant erosion that is taking place on the site as it lies so close to the commercial shipping channel.

Although two small scale excavations have taken place, the only work to save material from destruction currently being undertaken is by a small dedicated team of volunteer divers from the The London Shipwreck Trust. Mark will talk not only of work to date but will also talk about plans for the future to create a facility to house and display the site for the public.

Find out more about how you can get involved in the CovED webcast series on our website here: https://www.nauticalarchaeologysociety.org/coved-talks-weekly-webcast

03/17/2020
USS Constitution

Live now!

Join the crew aboard USS Constitution as they give a virtual tour!

Join us for a virtual tour of USS Constitution! We have two knowledgeable Sailors to answer your questions! Ask in the comment section!

Some really neat cultural resource internship opportunities with the Park Service with applications being taken until th...
01/21/2020

Some really neat cultural resource internship opportunities with the Park Service with applications being taken until the end of this week 1/24/2020. www.futureparkleaders.org

Internships opportunities for Summer 2020 are closing at the end of the week (1/24) don't miss your chance to apply!!! Valles Caldera National Preserve is seeking an #intern to focus on the development of a #geospatial model that assess cultural resources vulnerability on the landscape-scale. For more information visit www.futureparkleaders.org Photo Credit: Valles Caldera NPS
#applytoday
#internships
#summerinternship
#caldera
#cultural
#wildfire
#undergraduate
#gradschool
#nationalparkservice

Cool lecture celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Trieste's dive to Challenger Deep at the National Museum of the Uni...
01/14/2020

Cool lecture celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Trieste's dive to Challenger Deep at the National Museum of the United States Navy next thursday! If you are in DC please stop by. Info in the link. Friday the exhibit will highlight artifacts from Navy's deep underwater Archaeology sites.

Mark your calendars! The National Museum of the United States Navy is celebrating Trieste's 60th Anniversary of its visit to Challenger Deep on January 23rd at 10 a.m.

Learn more about Trieste's history here: https://www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/exploration-and-innovation/bathyscaph-trieste.html

Earlier this month one of our Archaeological Conservators, Shanna Daniel, gave a presentation at the Web3D Naval Visuali...
12/20/2019

Earlier this month one of our Archaeological Conservators, Shanna Daniel, gave a presentation at the Web3D Naval Visualization Workshop at the Virginia Tech Research Center on the use of 3D modeling applications currently being used by Underwater Archaeology. Presentation in the link:https://www.web3d.org/sites/default/files/attachment/node/2435/edit/NHHC%20UA%20Presentation_Shanna%20Daniel.pdf

Earlier this month one of our Archaeological Conservators, Shanna Daniel, gave a presentation at the Web3D Naval Visuali...
12/20/2019

Earlier this month one of our Archaeological Conservators, Shanna Daniel, gave a presentation at the Web3D Naval Visualization Workshop at the Virginia Tech Research Center on the use of 3D modeling applications currently being used by Underwater Archaeology. Presentation in the link:

https://www.web3d.org/sites/default/files/attachment/node/2435/edit/NHHC%20UA%20Presentation_Shanna%20Daniel.pdf

There are 30+ Navy labs to choose from in the NREIP program. The application period for summer 2020 internships closes N...
10/01/2019
NREIP

There are 30+ Navy labs to choose from in the NREIP program. The application period for summer 2020 internships closes November 1st so be sure to apply! Want to know how your skills can apply to Underwater archaeology? Send us a message and chat with our maritime archaeologist and archaeological conservators!

https://nreip.asee.org/

#OTD in 2000 - After sinking 136 years earlier, the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley was raised from the seabed near t...
08/08/2019

#OTD in 2000 - After sinking 136 years earlier, the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley was raised from the seabed near the mouth of the harbor at Charleston, SC.

Learn more about the discovery, recovery, and restoration from the NHHC Underwater Archaeology Branch page below!

https://go.usa.gov/xyJBm

#OTD in 2000 - After sinking 136 years earlier, the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley was raised from the seabed near the mouth of the harbor at Charleston, SC.

Learn more about the discovery, recovery, and restoration from the NHHC Underwater Archaeology Branch page below!

https://go.usa.gov/xyJBm

It's #bringyourkidtoworkday at the Washington Navy Yard! We're so happy to have all of you here.  As well as teaching ki...
04/25/2019

It's #bringyourkidtoworkday at the Washington Navy Yard! We're so happy to have all of you here. As well as teaching kids about Navy History through an archaeological dig activity and dive gear demenstration! Parents from the base also learned that the the Navy actually has an Underwater Archaeology unit! Just goes to show NHHC has a lot to offer and there is something for everyone. #history #navyhistory #usnavy #museum #funwithkids

It's #bringyourkidtoworkday at the Washington Navy Yard! We're so happy to have all of you here. Please tag us and we'll repost your pics all day long! #history #navyhistory #usnavy #museum #funwithkids

Naval History & Heritage Command
03/28/2019
Naval History & Heritage Command

Naval History & Heritage Command

Most are probably familiar with America's Ship of State, USS Constitution, but how much do you know about her five sister frigates?

Would you believe one ended up as part of a flour mill?!

The wreckage of USS Wasp (CV 7) has been located!Sunk in 1942, a team of researchers aboard RV Petrel located the World ...
03/14/2019
The Epic Hunt for a Lost World War II Aircraft Carrier

The wreckage of USS Wasp (CV 7) has been located!

Sunk in 1942, a team of researchers aboard RV Petrel located the World War II-era aircraft carrier at a depth of approximately 14,000 feet.

NHHC UA was fortunate enough to have researchers on board during this latest expedition as well to help with locating and documentation of the finds.

For more of the story, check out the article from The New York Times.

In 1942, a volley of torpedoes sent the U.S.S. Wasp to the bottom of the Pacific. For decades, the families of the dead wondered where in the lightless depths of the ocean the ship could possibly be. Earlier this year, a team of wreck hunters set out to find it.

While this piece is about the history of the Navy's Marine Mammal program, Navy Mammals have also contributed vastly to ...
03/13/2019
Marine Mammals: The Navy’s Super Searchers | U. S. Naval Undersea Museum

While this piece is about the history of the Navy's Marine Mammal program, Navy Mammals have also contributed vastly to underwarter archaeological research most notably in the find of Howell Torpedo back in 2013.

MARINE MAMMALS: THE NAVY’S SUPER SEARCHERS When the U.S. Navy needs to locate an object underwater, it calls on unusual allies: the dolphins and sea lions of the Navy Marine Mammal Program. Navy dolphins and sea lions can find undersea objects faster and better than human divers and undersea vehic...

RV Petrel announced the discovery of USS Strong, a WWII destroyer sunk on July 5, 1943. Read the story about how, with l...
02/26/2019

RV Petrel announced the discovery of USS Strong, a WWII destroyer sunk on July 5, 1943. Read the story about how, with less than a year of active service, the ship set a standard for initiative and toughness here --> http://usnhistory.navylive.dodlive.mil/2019/02/22/strong-crew-and-rescue-set-sailor-standards-for-initiative-and-toughness/?fbclid=IwAR2IAfkNMCWHpiyBbicmaMH5VZVHL5EBPUK65YLsY6YhakyQRYrHLsq6ydo

Sunk on the morning of July 5, 1943 by torpedoes from a group of destroyers led by the IJN Niizuki. It's said to be one of the longest torpedo shots of WWII. The Strong was a Fletcher class destroyer and is in 300 meters of water.

As a young Sailor, Richard Nowatzki served aboard USS Hornet (CV-8) through the commissioning, the famed Doolittle Raid,...
02/21/2019
The End of Hornet – Part 1

As a young Sailor, Richard Nowatzki served aboard USS Hornet (CV-8) through the commissioning, the famed Doolittle Raid, the Battle of Midway, and was aboard when Hornet was sunk near the island of Santa Cruz in 1942.

With the recent discovery of Hornet, join us as we dive into Nowatzki’s first-hand account as he shares his experiences in the extraordinarily brutal and dangerous environment of combat at sea.

Click the link below to read part one of his story.
Parts:2 & 3 to this story are on the NHHCs' main page.

As a 19-year-old seaman who had been in the Navy for about a year and a half, Richard Nowatzki's ship USS Hornet (CV 8) was mortally wounded in the intense

02/12/2019
Wreckage of World War II aircraft carrier USS Hornet discovered

I am sure a lot of you have been keeping up with the news this morning, but if you havn't R/V Petrel just announced finding aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-6). NHHC is looking forward to reviewing the data once it is made available.

Take a look:

The USS Hornet is best known for launching the important Doolittle Raid in April of 1942 and its role in winning the Battle of Midway

The Underwater Archaeology Branch at the Washington Navy Yard offers a variety of internship opportunities for students ...
01/17/2019
Internships

The Underwater Archaeology Branch at the Washington Navy Yard offers a variety of internship opportunities for students wanting to learn about Maritime archaeology and getting hands on experience in a federal archaeological program. Internships focus on four objectives which may include: Archaeological Research, Policy Development and Cultural Resource Management, Conservation and Curation, and Public Outreach.

Opportunities also exist through various programs such as NREIP, AAA internship, and PPIP. These highly competitive Internship programs are supported through academic and professional organizations in which NHHC has partnered with to provide "PAID or Allowanced" summer internships. For more information, feel free to message this post, pm, or visit each respective website below to learn more about a specific program, their application periods, and requirements.

-NHHC Internship: https://www.history.navy.mil/get-involved/internships.html
-NREIP: https://nreip.asee.org/ (applications open every August for an internship the following summer)
-AAA Internship: http://www.americananthro.org/LearnAndTeach/Content.aspx… (summer 2019 applications open January)
-PPIP: http://ppip.tamu.edu/Internships (Open to Texan A&M University students year round)
-Washington Seminar Program by Brigham Young University (Open year round to all students) http://washingtonseminar.byu.edu/

A few of these programs are paid or partially cover the cost of living in DC while interning so please apply! We get interns from across the globe which also creates a great networking opportunity for those looking at graduate studies in the US and abroad.

The NHHC offers internships to students who wish to have professional work experience in areas related to their educational programs and career goals. In addition to undertaking historical research, writing and editing, the NHHC operates the Navy Department Library, The National Museum of the United...

12/20/2018
USS Macon Airship wreckage

Ever wondered how the Navy used ridged airships, check out this video highlighting an artifact from one of our lesser known sites USS Macon.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS9pa1UZZa8

USS Macon (ZRS 5), a U.S. Navy Akron-class rigid airship, sank on February 12, 1935 off the coast of California in what is now the Monterey Bay National Mari...

If you missed the lecture and want to view it later, it will soon be made available on AGU's youtube channel along with ...
12/11/2018
American Geophysical Union (AGU)

If you missed the lecture and want to view it later, it will soon be made available on AGU's youtube channel along with other interesting lectures from the conference.

https://www.youtube.com/user/AGUvideos/videos

The American Geophysical Union is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization with nearly 60,000 members representing over 139 countries. AGU adv...

12/10/2018
AGU Fall Meeting 2018

"What in the World Sank USS San Diego?"
Is the title of a presentation that Dr. Alexis Catsambis from NHHC Underwater Archaeology along with Dr. Art Trembanis from University of Delware and Dr. Ken Nahshon from Naval Surface Warefare Center will be presenting at the AGU (Advancing Earth and Space Science) Fall meeting in DC Tomorrow morning.

Tune in at 1100 EST to watch the live stream of the lecture on the link: http://live.projectionnet.com/AGUPress/FM2018.aspx

Related to our NAS Pax River historic aircraft survey.
11/01/2018
Naval History & Heritage Command

Related to our NAS Pax River historic aircraft survey.

#ICYMI: NHHC Underwater Archaeology Branch Archaeologist George Schwartz speaks with WBOC TV 16 Delmarva's News Leader about a recently discovered aircraft wreck near Chesapeake Bay.

Address

805 Kidder Breese St SE
Washington D.C., DC
20374-5060

General information

The Underwater Archaeology Branch forms part of the Naval History & Heritage Command on the Washington Navy Yard, Washington D.C. The Branch maintains archives associated with sunken military craft and past archaeological investigations, facilitates research, as well as organizes visits to the Archaeology & Conservation Laboratory. For more information, please visit http://www.history.navy.mil/research/underwater-archaeology.html

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:30 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:30 - 17:00
Thursday 08:30 - 17:00
Friday 08:30 - 17:00

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when NHHC Underwater Archaeology Branch posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to NHHC Underwater Archaeology Branch:

Nearby government services